SARDIS, Mississippi -- A rescue operation went amiss when a van transporting various dogs from Mississippi broke down, resulting in the death of nearly a dozen of them.
On Saturday, the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley was expecting the arrival of dogs from the Southern Pines around 10:30 a.m., but no one showed up.
"It's heartbreaking. Our hearts go out to the dogs involved and the volunteers," said AHS Spokesperson Zach Nugent.
News quickly began to pour in about a transport van out of the Southern Pines breaking down nearly four hours into the drive.
Unfortunately, some of the dogs weren't able to survive.
During the volunteers' efforts to remove the more than 50 dogs from the van, 11 of them had already passed away.
The remaining dogs were taken to a shelter nearby.
"We had to get them out of those crates to a safe location because those crates were nothing but heat traps," Yvonne Tayler with North Mississippi Animal Rescue told WREG.
Following the tragic incident, Southern Pines Animal Shelter published a statement on their Facebook page:
"To say that we are grieving and devastated by the terrible accident that occurred yesterday would be an understatement."
While the deaths of the dogs remain under investigation, Nugent says they are here for them to assist them through.
According to the Southern Pines group director, they believe carbon monoxide poisoning from a mechanical malfunction may be to blame.
Rescue operation van breaks down resulting in death of nearly a dozen dogs